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Lewis W. Eldredge interview with Tales of Cape Cod, October 12, 1977.
Mr. Eldredge was born in Brewster in 1906. He went to school in Orleans and graduated in 1925. He worked for the A.F. Smith Store as a tin smith for 46 years and spear fished at night for flounders from February to June. He would wear a miner’s light and fish on calm nights. His neighbors called him the King of the Cove because he was so successful fishing for flounder. He recalls the lives of his grandfathers and great grandfathers. His father cleaned train engines, later worked for the Eldredge Lumber Yard and finally owed a car garage. His other grandfather was a lobsterman and quahog raker. One great grandfather was a fisherman who drown while hand lining in dories in 1865. He also remembers his great grandmothers and tells a couple of childhood experiences with them. He also remembers how hardy one great grandmother was when she broke her arm. He recalls that most of his friends in Eastham “scratched” for quahogs and clams. He remembers trapping muskrats and selling their pelts in 1932. He recalls some shipwrecks on the “back side” including the Montclair in the 20’s and a ship full of blueberries in 1939. He also remembers his grandfather helping the Navy figure out how to refloat a grounded submarine on the Cape. The same grandfather saved a sailor’s life and later was given $1,000. Mr. Eldredge tells the story of a person who used tame geese as decoys on the outer beach when he ran a geese hunting camp.
The Tales of Cape Cod Oral History Collection is housed at the William Brewster Nickerson Archives in the Wilkens Library at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable, Massachusetts. For more information about the collection, please contact the Nickerson Archives, http://www.nickersonarchives.org/.
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